The statement was made by Vijay Thakur, Secretary (East) at the External Affairs Ministry of India, at a round-table on “Vietnam-India Relations: From Traditional Bonds to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” held by the Vietnamese Embassy in India on November 21.
India has been very clear on its vision for Indo-Pacific to be an open, inclusive and rule-based region, and in that context New Delhi has acknowledged the great importance of the East Sea – an international waterway through which 5 trillion USD worth of goods and over 30 percent of international crude oil supplies transit, she said.
“We also believe that there should be a rule-based order where there is respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity and there must be peaceful resolutions of disputes and there should be no threat or use of force. The countries are engaged in negotiating a code of conduct. We hope this code of conduct respects international law,” she said.
In his remarks, Vietnamese Ambassador Pham Sanh Chau said Vietnam appreciates India’s position on the East Sea issue, which is especially relevant in the context of recent incidents in its territorial waters.
He said Vietnam and India have more than 15 mechanisms to strengthen bilateral ties, adding that Vietnam hopes to closely cooperate with India in cyber and defence security.
The two countries have signed many agreements economic cooperation, the ambassador added.
Associate Professor, Dr. Le Van Toan, President of the Science Council of the Centre for Indian Studies under the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, highlighted the factors affecting the Vietnam-India relationship at present and in the future.
The new context and visions require Vietnam and India to strengthen their solidarity, enhance political trust and support each other in development, he said.
Experts and scholars focused on the importance of the Indo-Pacific region and Arctic Ocean to the world, threats in the border areas of the oceans, the prospects of the ASEAN and Indonesia in Indo-Pacific as well as the maintenance of peace and development in this region.
Prof. Julie Nguyen, Director of Vietnam-Canada Society, said the society participated in the event with the aim to inform participants on Vietnam’s activities to protect the nation’s sovereignty and interests at sea, as well as the country’s wish to maintain a peaceful and stable environment at sea for national development.
Speaking to Vietnam News Agency’s correspondent in Canada, Adam P. MacDonald, Deputy Director of the Centre for the Study of Security and Development under Dalhousie University said that in the context of complicated disputes in the East Sea, a multilateral approach to a comprehensive agreement is a proper solution that all parties should stick to.
The East Sea plays a significant role in the global trade. It is estimated that over 50 percent of maritime trade of the world goes through the waters, with value of 5,000 billion USD each year./. VNA